This is a throwback post, and also a craft that’s been around for countless years. Since the time of paper and scissors, adults and children alike have been cutting paper snowflakes for windows and gift packages.
I cut over a hundred every year for my windows. I’ve included a how-to video with this post, but I have tweaked my snowflakes over the years, and want to share a new tip or two.
The most important tip I want to share is to cut many different sized snowflakes. The snowflakes on my windows look more interesting if they are not uniform in size. I use squares of computer paper cut into a variety of sizes, four inches to eight, and everything in between. As long as you have a square and do the folding correctly, your snowflakes will be a success.
As always, the best way to store paper snowflakes is inside a book until you are ready to use them. Here is a true story and a tip too. Write down what book you place them in and where that book is kept. I lost dozens and dozens of finished snowflakes a year or two ago. I found them months later in the “safe” place I had stashed them.
To finish off the snowflakes, press them between sheets of wax paper with an old iron you reserve for crafts, or to preserve your iron and board, encase them in several layers of newspaper and press them in wax paper. When you pull the wax paper away, your snowflakes will have a protective layer of wax to keep off the condensation winter windows often form.
One of my favorite Christmas activities is cutting paper snowflakes. I usually start in October or November and cut several each day. I need near 100 to fill the windows.
I use washable school glue sticks to keep the snowflakes in place. When it’s time to take them down just pull the paper away from the windowpane and swipe with a wet washcloth once or twice. Let the moisture soak in for a minute, wipe again, and all the paper and glue washes away. Sometimes, if I use the right cloth, I don’t even need to use window cleaner. Anyone who has ever picked transparent tape off of a piece of window glass will know how tedious it is and how long it takes. Gluing the snowflakes to the windows sounds scary, but believe me, I’ve done it for years and it is SOOOOOO much easier than taping because of easy removal.
If you live in a cold climate, and put your snowflakes in windows, they will be more durable and condensation resistant if you iron them between pieces of wax paper first. After ironing, pull the wax paper apart gently, and the snowflakes come out intact with an invisible layer of wax on their surface.
ALWAYS start with a square piece of paper. Computer paper works great! Four through eight inches are the sizes I use. The larger squares are easier to cut, but a variety of sizes on a window looks more interesting. Have fun!!!
I have a brand new panoply of paper snowflakes on my window panes this year. Creating these inexpensive Christmas decorations is one of my joys. All it takes to make these lacy echoes of real snowflakes, is a bit of folding and snipping.
You will need squares of paper. Computer paper is a good choice for snowflakes. I use different sizes, eight, seven, six, five and four-inch squares. All of these sizes are fairly easy to fold and cut.
Fold the square into a triangle shape by matching catty-corners, or in more modern terms, opposite corners.
After the first fold is complete, using the corners on the long side of the triangle, fold the paper corner to corner once more.
This next part is a little tricky. Let the longer side of the triangle face away from you. Bring up the right corner and fold it about a third of a way from the middle. Turn the paper over and repeat this step. You will have an accordion folded piece of paper with two bunny-type ears if you have folded it correctly. If this step is confusing watching the video at the bottom of the post will help.
After I fold the triangle into this shape, I trim the ‘ears’ off leaving a cone shape. This does not have to be perfectly rounded, you will be cutting into it.
* Important * You must always leave a bit of the folded sides intact to keep the snowflake whole. Don’t worry if you accidentally cut one and have it fall to pieces…it’s only paper after all.
Begin cutting your snowflake. Try to use both rounded cuts and straight snips. The combination of round and straight will give your snowflake a natural look. After cutting, open up, and prepare to be amazed by your beautiful handiwork.
I like to place the finished snowflakes in the windows of the house. Because the indoor heat causes condensation, the next step is especially important if you are using them on windows.
Iron the snowflakes between sheets of waxed paper. The layer of wax deposited on the paper will create a barrier against moisture. If you are using a good iron, protect it and the ironing board. Cover the board with an old cloth and use layers of newspaper beneath and over the waxed paper before you begin. The heat of the iron will penetrate the layers of newspaper and melt the wax onto the paper. You might need to change the newspaper several times. I use the waxed paper only one time, use a new sheet, top and bottom, for each batch of snowflakes. * Important * Have a lot of newspaper on hand if you are using a good iron.
I remove the waxed paper immediately after ironing by pulling the two pieces apart. The snowflakes are ready to glue to your windows.
Glue??? Yes, you read right. I recommend Elmer’s Disappearing Purple School Glue. Unless you want to spend hours and hours peeling and scraping tape residue from your windows, use a washable glue stick. A glue stick does leave a bit of residue when you take down the snowflakes, but it’s easy to remove with a wet rag. A spray of window cleaner and you would never know glue had been on your windows.
This is my fifth year creating content for “Minding My P’s with Q.” Some good ideas and posts from past years are buried deep in the archives. I’ve unearthed a few November “phavorites” from 2011 to the present to share once again.
It’s the time of year to begin gathering ideas for the upcoming Autumn and Winter seasons. I’ve posted all three of these tutorials in the past, but decided to resurrect them for the coming holiday seasons. I will be starting to cut snowflakes for December decorating any day now. I like to have eight in each window. When you add it up, that’s a lot of snowflakes to cut. If I cut one or two per day I have more than I need by December 1st.
The first video in my trio explains how to create paper snowflakes.
The second snowflake video shows you how to coat the paper with wax so that moisture from the winter windows does not ruin all your work.
The third video demonstrates how to make a large-sized oblong bow for wreaths or packages.
It’s a good idea to get a jumpstart on plans and crafts for the upcoming holiday seasons of the Autumn and Winter. A little bit done each week equals less stress as the holidays draw near.
Over the course of December I’m going to be sorting through archives, deleting some posts, and re-blogging some that I consider the best or most popular. I’ll start with one for the upcoming Christmas season – PAPER SNOWFLAKES – one of my favorites.
I love cutting paper snowflakes. This year all my front and side windows have are decorated with snowflakes. I’ve included two Youtube videos below with directions.